Seattle >Food & Dining > El Chupacabra
6711 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810347.678109 -122.355380
Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday & Sunday noon-2 a.m.
Neighborhoods: Phinney Ridge, Northwest, Northwest Seattle
Great Food and a perfect margarita! – I absolutely LOVED el cupacabra, it definitley has the appeal of being a Seattle hole in the wall type of place. It definitley doesn't conform to what traditional mexican restaurants offer (which I love and it stands out from a sea of cookie cutter chains) They food is amazing and if you go there for nothing else you MUST try one of their house margaritas! If you are seeking a restaurant where your waiter is going to be waiting on you hand and foot and a relaxing atmosphere unfortunately el chupacabra isn't it. It is decorated with day of the dead decor and rock music is blasting from the juke box (my kind of atmosphere) Thank you el chupacabra for not being the norm and taking risks...def one of my favorite spots in seattle
Weird and wonderful - tasty Mexican food you can count on! – Day of the Dead inspired skulls and candles decorate this repurposed home on Phinney Ridge. There’s metal on the jukebox and the liberally tattooed staff may seem apathetic to your presence - El Chupacabra makes weird work. The food is tasty (try the guac) and I’ve found the service to be efficient and competent. Entrees are reasonably priced, around $7 for ample portions of Mexican standards – burritos, tacos, enchiladas and the like, with your choice of meats or a meat-like substitute. Wash it all down with an $8 pitcher of PBR or a classier draft, if that’s more your speed. Happy Hour happens twice a day and the kitchen is open until 10:30. Enjoy a margarita on the deck when the sun shines.
Really bad place to go for fun – I can't even review the food because the service was so terrible we never made it to the table. It was a busy night, but our wait was made interminable by the fact that the waitstaff (who I had been patient with because they were clearly understaffed) chose to seat half a dozen parties ahead of our party of 3 who were farther back on the waitlist. This included an obnoxious party of children whose parents lied about how many of them there were, and some people who obviously had friends at the restaurant who waltzed in and sat down while many people had been waiting to be seated for over an hour. When we tried to press our case with the waiter, as we'd been "next" for a good 45 minutes, we were rudely yelled at and told to leave. They had plenty of customers waiting for a table that night, but the way they were going, I don't know who would come back for more.
Unbelievably bad service. Okay food – I don't know who these people think they are. They have TERRIBLE attitudes and service. They are rude and once a guy tried to charge our party of five 20% gratuity on our bill after ruining our evening with almost nonexistent service. These poser dregs have no business in the service industry and they look like a filthy bunch as well. No one I know will ever go there again. Don't waste your precious time or money.
RUDE – The waitress rudely reminded us that the longer we stayed, the more money we were taking out of her pocket. So sorry... I apologize that our several-hundred dollar bill and automatic 18% tip was so irritating to you.
Great Mexican Food in Seattle – Actually some decent Mexican Food in Seattle! Great small joint in Phinny Ridge/ Greenlake area, across the street from Red Mill.
Formerly great, now on the skids – We used to love this place. But there's been a lot of turnover lately and the owner seems to be hiring anything with a pulse. We've been there when the bartender was so drunk/stoned she couldn't pour beer. We've had our orders completely mixed up (i.e. no one got what they ordered, just bits and pieces of each other's order), delivered after a lengthy wait. We've had to explain the menu to servers.
Our last visit was in the late afternoon, with our eight-year-old - we'd been there as a family dozens of times. In addition to slow service (because they had yet another new, inexperienced server) the bartender-controlled music was blaring some song with the "F-word" prominently repeated in its refrain. Hey, I'm a biker and not easy to offend, but I'm also a parent: since this place bills itself as family friendly I would think they could be a bit more considerate during 'family prime time' (play what you like after, say, 8 or 9 PM).
When I refer to this as our 'last visit', I mean that in all senses of the phrase. El Chupacabra has lost its groove, and I would not be surprised to see another tenant in that building by year's end.
Worst Service in Seattle – I went here for the first time and it was terrible. We waited an hour for our food only to find out our order had been misplaced. The guacamole was more like watery avocado with tomatoes than good, chunky guacamole should be. Once our food finally came it was cold and disappointing. I will never eat here again.
I'd rather pay someone to burn off my fingernails. – Well, the food is decent, the drinks are strong sometimes if you actually get served. But the service was so awful last time that I will never go back. I took some friends there from out of town on Sunday afternoon. We sat at the bar. At first, I thought we were just getting some punk attitude, which is pretty standard anywhere there's loud music and no frills. I've got tattoos too, but I'm not an a**hole. My buddy wanted a gimlet, and he was told "No." He settled for a beer after the bartender told him she didn't want to make anything. I asked for a mojito and was told there was no mint. I asked for a whiskey sour, and I waited. The bartender came back 3 times to ask me to remind her what I'd ordered. I waited almost 20 minutes for my drink. She also spent about 3 minutes giving my friend a hard time because she wanted a shot of Southern Comfort - not my thing, but I didn't think it was necessary to make fun of her. There was only one waiter (Jonathan) running his "tooshie" off and everybody else seemed to be standing around. It was clear the bartender was wasted and she was behind on giving everybody their drinks. Other people at the bar were exchanging glances and words about what the hell was going on. I had a couple stand behind me waiting for drink service for about 15 minutes, and when they were noticed, they were treated horribly. Others were asking me how long I'd been waiting. A while later I was waiting for my second whiskey sour, and when I had to remind her again what I wanted, I was told to "grow the f**k up." I decided to save my time and left instead. I like dives, loud music, and attitude. But I don't want to spend my days off in a place where I'll be treated like s**t. I think no matter what the theme of a bar is, customer service and smooth operations should still be striving towards a higher standard. It says a lot about a place when the employees clearly don't care about anything.
I finally found the quality of Mexican Food I expect in Seattle! – As a SoCal native I have looked high and low throughout Seattle to find "good" mexican food. I'm not looking for southwestern cuisine or New Mexican food or healthy mexican food. I want the greasy refried beans with red enchilada sauce and large flour tortillas with crispy tortilla chips and spicy salsa. I found it at El Chupacabra.
Frankly, you don't come here for the service. You come here for a cold mexican beer and a plate full of calories. Seat yourself at any open table and grab a menu if you see one lying around or ask the waitress. I tend to avoid the bar since it's a bit cramped and the bartender scares me a little bit (but I think this is all part of his plan.) The shrimp enchiladas have been on the specials board for as long as I can remember and thank goodness for that b/c they are damn delicious. The pork carnitas are great too though I found the tacos to be lacking in substance. If you want to chow down, order a burrito. Don't forget to order chips and salsa when you order drinks since they cost $1 or 2 and don't come automatically.
Don't be offended if you're not treated as their favorite customer - El Chupacabra serves no-nonsense Mexican food. I've never been treated poorly but I've also never asked for special accomodations. If people hate the service so much, they do offer takeout.
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